Advice to Students
02 Sep 2010
CAMPUS WATCH – Keep yourself and your belongings safe
Student houses tend to have multiple tenants – that’s why thieves see them as a great target. For them, it’s maximum gain with minimum effort. Large numbers of students own items such as laptop computers, printers, cameras, MP3 players, mobile phones, televisions or games consoles, all of which can be easily re-sold.
It is important that all students, but particularly ‘Freshers’ who are new to university life, take sensible precautions to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime.
There are some simple steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim of crime:
- Over 50% of burglaries happen because a door or window has been left open, so lock up properly each time you go out and if there is an alarm, set it.
- Keep bank cards and cheque books separate – keep a note of your card details so you can cancel them quickly.
- Always lock your car – never leave the keys in the ignition and don’t leave valuables unattended in the vehicle whether it is parked on or off campus .
- Mark your property with the initials of your university and your student ID number – this makes it hard for a burglar to sell stolen goods and can help the police to return any recovered items to you.
- Be vigilant when using your mobile phone – if your phone is stolen, contact the police and remember to inform your network provider.
- Don’t be an easy target – walk in groups at night, stay over with friends or travel by taxi. Remember that your safety is worth more than the cab fare home!
- Don’t leave drinks unattended
- If possible, use cash machines during the day – be aware of your surroundings – never write down your PIN.
- If you are having a night out, use timer switches to switch lights on, and make your flat look occupied in the evenings and at the weekends.
- Your own safety is the most important consideration. But remember - lock up before you leave, take your valuable items home at weekends and during the holidays, and make sure your property is secure at all times.
- Developing positive relationships with neighbours can play a vital role in ensuring any suspicious activity is reported – for example, while you are away for the weekend or on holiday.
Crime Prevention Officers will also provide workshops and advice centres and campuses throughout the year.
For students moving into the greater university area of Belfast, a dedicated information campagin has been developed to answer any questions they may have. Simply log onto www.belfastcity.gov.uk/respect
Be Safe – RAPE AWARENESS
To keep yourself safe on a night out, read important advice on rape awareness:
If you need police in an emergency, call “999” (toll-free) and ask for police.
If it is not an emergency and you want to contact police, please call the non-emergency number: 0845 6008000 (charged at local rates).
If you want to contact police over a local issue or just need some crime prevention advice, you should contact your local Neighbourhood Policing Team. Their names and in some cases mobile numbers can be found on your Area Page. Just go to the PSNI homepage and use the drop-down menu to click on your area (for example: “South Belfast” if you live in the Holyland area).